Leveling A Radiused Nut Slot

Discussion in 'Restoration & Repair' started by JamesB, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. JamesB

    JamesB New Member

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    I'd like to flatten the bottom of radiused (e.g. Fender) nut slots rather than try to radius-and-perfectly-match the bottom of the nut to a rounded slot... finding it to be easier thought than done, though! Can you guys with more experience offer some tips?...
     
  2. GuitarBuilder

    GuitarBuilder Member

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    Do you own a set of nut files?

    If the guitar has a tremolo you will only make it harder to keep in tune by doing this, by the way. Not recommended.
     
  3. JamesB

    JamesB New Member

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    I do own several. That's interesting about the tremolo. I actually took mine off and decked the bridge, but I'm curious - why is a flat bottomed nut going to make trouble for a tremolo'ed bridge?...
     
  4. GuitarBuilder

    GuitarBuilder Member

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    When using a tremolo the string has to slide freely over the nut with a well-defined contact area. Check out the series by Galeazzo Frudua for more detail:

     
  5. JamesB

    JamesB New Member

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    Oh, now I see that I was misunderstood. I mean the slot in the neck for the nut - not the string slots in the nut:)
     
  6. GuitarBuilder

    GuitarBuilder Member

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    Ah! Sorry about the misunderstanding. Do you have a file that fits the slot width?
     
  7. JamesB

    JamesB New Member

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    Yes, I have Stew Mac's 1/8". More than the issue of flattening the nut slot bottom (I'm realizing that I'm better off buying nuts blanks with radiused bottoms) is doing whatever filing I need to without losing squareness at the bottom. In other words, somehow the file isn't quite reaching into the edges of the slot (where "walls" meet "floor"), resulting in a slot that's a touch narrow at the bottom. The nut won't seat. Any suggestions?...
     
  8. GuitarBuilder

    GuitarBuilder Member

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    Just to confirm: you're using the StewMac 1/8" Nut Seating File? How wide is the nut? Perhaps you should sand it down a little.
     
  9. JamesB

    JamesB New Member

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    Had it tight-fitted already, but now it's loose due to sloppy filing of the nut (not string) slot. Probably looking at shimming now. Thanks anyway for your help.
     

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